3 firefighters killed battling Washington state wildfire

Three firefighters have been killed and four others have been injured while battling the Twisp fire in Washington state, says Governor Jay Inslee.

"My heart breaks over the loss of life. I know all Washington joins me and (wife) Trudi in sending our prayers to the families of these brave firefighters," he said. The identities of those killed were not immediately released.

Inslee, after receiving the news, sent a letter to President Barack Obama, requesting a federal emergency declaration to provide the state with additional resources to cover some of the costs. More than 50 homes have been destroyed by wildfires in Washington and more than 235,000 acres of land has been burned.

If approved, the federal Emergency Declaration would make financial assistance available to the State, eligible local jurisdictions and private non-profit organizations. The assistance could be used to pay for costs of emergency protective measures, emergency response, and debris removal. The federal government would reimburse 75 percent of eligible costs. The declaration would also provide direct federal assistance from federal agencies.

Inslee declared a state of emergency on June 26 in anticipation of a damaging wildfire season. More than 300 Washington National Guardsmen have since been mobilized to assist firefighting efforts, and the Pentagon on Tuesday approved a request for 200 soldiers to assist in battling Western wildfires.

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